LAUR, Nueva Ecija, (Mabuhay) – Administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Wednesday urged the public to shun candidates running in the national elections who want to return to an abusive dictatorship.
“May kasabihan tayo, ‘Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.’ Kung kakalimutan natin ang lahat ng mga leksyon ng ating mga karanasan, ng ating mga nakalipas ay mawawala tayo, malilito tayo, maloloko tayo,” Roxas told reporters in an interview.
“At may mga tao dyan na nais bumalik tayo sa nakaraan, bumalik tayo sa dating sistema at mapigil ang ating pagusad,” he added.
Roxas and his running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, stopped by at the Aquino-Diokno memorial shrine in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija on the eve of the EDSA People Power Revolution. It was in this facility where opposition senators Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and Jose “Pepe” Diokno were brought for a one-month solitary confinement during the martial law period.
Aquino codenamed “Alpha” and Diokno referred to as “Delta” were detained from March 12 to April 11 in 1973. They were isolated from their families, friends, and even from each other as they were detained in separate rooms inside the facility.
Roxas said seeing the detention facility reminded him of Aquino and Diokno’s sacrifices for the country. “Hindi sila tumiklop. Nanindigan sila, hindi para sa sarili nila kung hindi para sa buong sambayanan,” he said.
Roxas said Filipinos should never forget the martial law years under the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos, father of Senator and vice-presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos.
“Importante na maalala natin kung saan tayo nagmula at ano yung pinagdaanan natin para makita yung ating kasalukuyang pinaglalaban…Para sa amin, ‘yung 2016 at hindi isang halalan lamang. ‘Yung 2016 ay isang yugto or chapter sa mahaba at malawak na pakikipaglaban ng buong sambayanang Pilipno.”
Robredo, for her part, lamented the youth’s seeming ignorance on the atrocities committed during the martial law era.
Robredo, a lawyer, said it was Ninoy’s assassination which inspired her to pursue a career in defending human rights.
“Merong nagbabadya na bumalik na naman ang martial rule. ‘Yung mga bata ngayon parang wala nang alaala kung ano ang pinagdaanan natin noon…Kailangan ipaalala sa lahat na ayaw na natin bumalik sa dati,” she said.
Robredo and Senator Marcos are both running for the vice presidency.
Roxas said he was confident that only a candidate who is sincere in serving the public will win the vice-presidential elections.
“Susuriin ng ating mga kababayan kung ano ang tinatayuan ng ating mga kandidato at sa dulo, mananaig kung ang kandidatong nasa tama, nasa tuwid at bilang tapat na lingkod bayan,” he said.
After Laur, the administration tandem proceeded to Muñoz High School for an orientation on the bottom-up budgeting (BuB) program of the government. They will cap their Nueva Ecija visit in a gathering at San Jose City with President Aquino.
The province of Nueva Ecija is one of the vote-rich provinces in the country with 1.3 million voters. (MNS)